BotswanaPost, the government underpinned postal services company, said there is still capacity and underutilisation at its operations and wants to take local businesses and government departments on board to take services across its network.
The parastatal has over 120 branches in rural, peri-urban and urban centres and sometimes one branch can have a day pass without seeing a customer.
BotswanaPost Chief Executive, Pele Moleta, once declared: “If we were running the post office as a business, we would have shutdown 60 post offices.”
This week Moleta said their intention is to use excess capacity to help business in the country and also keep it’s over 700 employees occupied. “Excess capacity, we are going to share,” he said when announcing a deal to provide tour operators convenience to pay tourism levies at post offices across the country.
The new deal that started in August will create revenue for the parastatal as it gets 10 percent of every payment made and so far P260, 000 has been collected since October. “It is important that capacity is used especially to help government departments,” he said, adding that this will reduce the cost of government setting up offices across the country.
Moleta said his organisation considers itself as a national infrastructure that enables Batswana to access services. However, he revealed not everyone in the country has access to services. For example, he argued, people in towns and cities take it for granted that everyone has access to services.
“These facilities (post offices) are for Batswana and should be used by people to access services,” he added.
“We have 124 post offices and we are ready to support particularly Batswana owned companies.”
The parastatal has partnered with a wide range of organisations from banks to electricity distributors as it looks at ways to generate income and use its footprint across the country. It has automated its systems at its branches ÔÇömeaning integration with third party platforms thus reducing manual working and easing reconciliation.
Already, the company sells electricity on behalf of Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) as it was awarded Supervendor contract by state owned power utility through its diverse postal network.
It partnered with First National Bank of Botswana (FNBB) to allow easy purchase of electricity. The post office has also teamed up with Hollard Life Botswana to facilitate the funeral insurance products across the country, where poso has presence.
Recently, BotswanaPost also modernised the facilitation process of the Department of Social Protection payments by introducing a Poso Card that will allow the elderly to swipe. It also launched the Poso Cloud which will interconnect small businesses, large enterprises and communities together.
Recently, Moleta said they were awarded a Value Added Network (VAN) licence that allows them to compete in the internet market.
This drive of also part of the Excellence Strategy, despite critics saying it is over loading itself and argue it should focus on its mandate.
The parastatal is aiming to be a highly technological company and to become a one-stop-shop for our customers offering an up market service experience with global product offerings and business centres.
It cannot survive as a designated Universal access or Universal Service Obligation (USO) USO provider in Botswana because at times government is reluctant to pay for services.
It announced a P76 million loss as reported in the annual report for 2013.